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China rushes to help quake-hit Nepal, Tibet autonomous region

Updated: Apr 27,2015 7:51 AM     Xinhua/english.gov.cn

A 58-member Chinese medical team arrives in Kathmandu, capital of Nepal, on April 27, to provide medical assistance to quake-hit Nepal. It is the first medical team sent by the Chinese government to the country after a massive 8.1-magnitude quake shook the country. [Photo/Xinhua]

China is mobilizing all kinds of resources from rescue teams to relief supplies to the earthquake-hit Tibet autonomous region and the neighboring Nepal on the other side of the world’s highest mountain.

The 8.1-magnitude earthquake has killed more than 2,000 and injured another 5,460 in Nepal, while the death toll in Tibet has climbed to 18 with another 55 injured, according to the latest reports.

Aid to Nepal

A 62-member Chinese search and rescue team, along with six dogs, arrived in Nepal’s capital Katmandu at about 10 a.m. local time to become the first international heavy urban search and rescue team in the Himalayan country, according to the China Earthquake Administration.

At about 5 p.m., the Chinese team spent four hours rescuing a teenager who had been trapped for one day in northwestern Katmandu.

Hundreds of people surrounding the rescue site applauded when they saw the survivor was taken out of danger.

The teenage was in stable condition, said Fu Xiaoguang, deputy chief of the team.

Rescuers have also found another seven people trapped in the debris in the nearby area and the rescue was expected to last for another six hours, he said.

Most of the rescue team members are experienced in earthquake rescue who had participated in domestic or international missions in a dozen of serious earthquakes, including the 8.0-magnitude earthquake in Wenchuan in 2008 and those in Japan, Haiti and Pakistan.

“A friend in need is a friend indeed,” said Mahesh Kumar Maskey, Nepali Ambassador to China, who saw off the rescue team at the airport. “Nepali people will always remember the support and help from China.”

The Chinese government has decided to provide 20 million yuan ($3.3 million) in humanitarian aid to Nepal following the massive earthquake, according to the Ministry of Commerce on April 26.

The aid, including supplies of tents, blankets and generators, will be delivered to Nepal by chartered planes, the ministry said, adding China will offer further support according to Nepal’s demands.

The National Health and Family Planning Commission has contacted a Chinese medical team stationed in Nepal and instructed them to “take an active part in medical relief work”.

Rescue in Tibet

Relief supplies including clothes, food and medicine, are being sent to Tibet following the Nepal earthquake, said the Ministry of Civil Affairs on April 26.

The central government allocated 5,000 thick tents, 30,000 cotton coats, 30,000 comforters, 15,000 foldable beds and 15,000 sleeping bags to the affected areas in Tibet. The regional government has also sent tents, coats, food, medicines and drinking water there.

Infrastructure in the southwestern part of Tibet was seriously affected by the Nepal quake and two lesser quakes that hit the area later. Thousands of houses collapsed and communication base stations were damaged.

The Ministry of Public Security warned on April 26 that the highway linking Xigaze, a major Tibet city, and Zham Pass, the border port to Nepal, has been cut off by landslides.

The ministry urged concerned citizens not to drive there themselves to deliver relief supplies. It should be the first priority to allow professional rescue teams and supplies to reach the affected area by road, the ministry statement said.

The Tibet Military Area Command has dispatched more than 1,100 troops and medical staff to the quake zone. More than 100 injured had received treatment and about 2.500 people were relocated as of 10 p.m. on April 26.

Three medical teams from neighboring Sichuan, Chongqing and Yunnan have gone to Tibet, according to the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

A doctor treats villagers in Gyirong county in Xigaze, southwest China’s Tibet autonomous region, April 26, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

Tibet’s health department has sent about 60 medical staff and ten ambulances to the affected areas.

Rescuers are braving heavy snow and rain to reach the affected area, and their efforts are hampered by severe landslides on the road to Nyalam.

Snow will persist in Tibet till April 27, adding extra pressure to the rescue work, according to a forecast by the National Meteorological Center.

Air route for life

China is organizing its three airliner giants to bring home 683 Chinese tourists who were stranded in Nepal following the earthquake, according to the China National Tourism Administration.

Air China, China Southern Airlines and China Eastern have dispatched aircraft to Nepal and were expected to bring back more than 1,000 Chinese and foreign tourists on April 26.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Chinese embassy in Nepal have launched an emergency response mechanism to help with the Chinese nationals who have been injured in the disaster and assist with arrangements for the deceased.

A 58-member Chinese medical team departs from Chengdu, Sichuan province on the morning of April 27, to provide medical assistance to quake-hit Nepal. It is the first medical team sent by the Chinese government to Nepal after a massive 8.1-magnitude quake shook the country. [Photo/Xinhua]

A 58-member Chinese medical team departs from Chengdu, Sichuan province on the morning of April 27, to provide medical assistance to quake-hit Nepal. It is the first medical team sent by the Chinese government to Nepal after a massive 8.1-magnitude quake shook the country. [Photo/Xinhua]

A 58-member Chinese medical team departs from Chengdu, Sichuan province on the morning of April 27, to provide medical assistance to quake-hit Nepal. It is the first medical team sent by the Chinese government to Nepal after a massive 8.1-magnitude quake shook the country. [Photo/Xinhua]

Members of China International Search and Rescue Team transfer a survivor in Kathmandu, capital of Nepal, on April 26, 2015. China International Search and Rescue Team rescued the first survivor during its humanitarian mission following a fatal quake in Nepal. [Photo/Xinhua]

Members of China International Search and Rescue Team discuss rescue plan in Kathmandu, capital of Nepal, on April 26, 2015.[Photo/Xinhua]

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